John Bubenheim Bayard and the Pennsylvania Board of War

John Bubenheim Bayard and the Pennsylvania Board of War

John Bubenheim Bayard was a merchant in Pennsylvania who supported the War of Independence in a variety of ways.

Overseeing the Revolution

John Bubenheim Bayard was a Philadelphia merchant who became a member of that city's Sons of Liberty as early as 1766.  

As the American Revolution neared, Bayard was elected to the Convention Assembly for the colony.  He consulted on the State’s first constitution and spent time as Speaker of the House.

In 1777, Bayard was appointed to the Pennsylvania Board of War.  This committee was responsible for overseeing the State’s soldiers and militia in the Revolutionary War. 

Additionally, Bayard sponsored a privateer ship which preformed raids on the British.

Furthermore, John’s company, Hedge & Bayard, was one of the few chosen to supply the Continental Army.  While their profiting from the Revolution may sound greedy, keep in mind that very few businessmen (other than Robert Morris) could afford to invest such a large amount of money without the promise of repayment.

Colonel Bayard

Not satisfied by simply funding and clothing the soldiers, John Bayard decided to take the field.  

Having been named Colonel of the Second Regiment, Bayard brought his men to New Jersey.  He served in the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown.  John followed this with involvement in the Battle of Princeton.  Bayard served so valiantly in Princeton that he was commended by General Washington himself.

After returning from the war, Bayard was named Chairman of the Board of War.  This promotion meant he also received a position on Executive Council which acted as the Governors cabinet.  In essence, Bayard was Pennsylvania’s Secretary of War.


When the American Revolution came to it’s conclusion, John Bayard realized he had incurred large debts while supporting his country.  Over the next few years, he sold land to repair his credit.

During this time, Pennsylvania sent him as a delegate to the Confederation Congress in New York.

Eventually, Bayard retired to New Brunswick, New Jersey.  The people in that town, grateful for his presence, elected him Mayor.  After his term, he spent the rest of his life as a county judge.


Although John Bubenheim Bayard focused most of his Revolutionary efforts on the State of Pennsylvania, his contributions effected the whole country.  He assisted in the funding, running and even fighting in the War of Independence.  It was the influence of well-rounded individuals like Bayard that led to the success of the United States.


For a new Founder right to your email every day, subscribe to our list.

The main source for this article is a bio on Bayard written in 1885 which can be found here.

For more on the battles Bayard fought in, get a copy of 'The American Revolution in New Jersey,' or if you are interested in reading the June 2018 Book of the Month then pick up 'Plain, Honest Men.'  All purchases are through our affiliate Amazon which offers the cheapest prices.

Margaret Cochran Corbin in the Battle of Fort Washington

Margaret Cochran Corbin in the Battle of Fort Washington

Richard Montgomery and the Invasion of Canada

Richard Montgomery and the Invasion of Canada